Liqui-Box is a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions for quick and fresh delivery of liquid and semi-liquid products used in dairy, beverage, food and non-food markets. Based in Richmond, VA, Liqui-Box operates five production sites in the United States, as well as facilities in the U.K., Spain, South Africa and China, and an annual transportation spend of $6.4M.
After being acquired by a new private equity owner, Liqui-Box sought to reevaluate its logistics operations in order to be more strategic with freight sourcing and improve overall performance. To achieve this, Liqui-Box recognized the need to partner with a provider with strong logistics services, value-added technology and the scale to support company growth.
Wanting to take a more strategic approach to logistics and procurement, Liqui-Box outsourced its North American transportation management to Transplace. By leveraging Transplace’s TMS and reporting capabilities, Liqui-Box was able to increase supply chain visibility, keep transportation costs in check in a volatile market and achieve 98% on-time performance.
Liqui-Box selected Transplace because of its flexible packaging industry expertise, comprehensive Transportation Management System (TMS), robust reporting capabilities and large network. The first step toward establishing a strong, collaborative partnership was for Transplace to gain an in-depth understanding of the supply chain operations, challenges and objectives of both Liqui-Box and its customers. This insight served as the foundation for building a logistics solution tailored to meet the specific needs of everyone involved.
According to Liqui-Box’s vice president of sourcing logistics, “Taking time upfront to discuss what was important to both us and our customers was critical to our short-term and long-term success. Transplace was diligent in their understanding of our key business drivers and parameters, and then built a solution that delivered the greatest benefit to us.”
Transplace took over managing Liqui-Box’s North American transportation operations, which included inbound and outbound shipments between Liqui-Box facilities and to customer locations. Now, Transplace’s proprietary TMS helps optimize shipments and allows all stakeholders (from Liqui-Box and their customers) to track them in realtime. Additionally, key personnel – from customer service to the plant operations team managing the day-to-day logistics and warehousing – have access to important shipment data and location information, eliminating the need for phone calls or emails to receive status updates.
Extensive, flexible reporting capabilities allow Liqui-Box to view critical transportation data, such as on-time pickup and delivery percentages, and cost per mile/pound – which, in turns enables the company to measure performance versus goals and identify opportunities for greater efficiency, customer service and cost savings. In addition to being able to create ad-hoc reports for specific metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), Liqui-Box receives monthly summaries with customized dashboards visually presenting critical supply chain data to help identify market trends and make strategic, data-driven decisions.
Furthermore, as part of its efforts to take a more strategic approach to freight sourcing and carrier management, Transplace helped Liqui-Box shift from its primary use of brokers to establishing long-term contracts with a core group of asset carriers. This helped lock in necessary capacity at competitive rates and be impacted less by market volatility.
Liqui-Box added, “The new sourcing strategy we took with Transplace completely flipped our approach to procurement. The security we now have by locking in capacity and rates, and the ability to be much more thoughtful in examining how the market is moving, has been a key component to our improved performance.”